Loading Dock Safety

The Material Transfer Zone (MTZ), which acts as a bridge between the truck and warehouse, is a dangerous place where safety must be the most important consideration.

Safety is often considered only after a serious accident has occurred on the dock.  To ensure the safety of dock attendants and product, consider all potential problems that could occur.

Consider security.  Select the correct dock leveler for your facility.  For additional safety at the loading dock, consider adding a vehicle restraint to help prevent unexpected trailer creep during the loading and unloading process.

Perform regular maintenance on the equipment.  Equipment should be cleaned, lubricated and checked by a technician for longer product life and better productivity.  Plan for maintenance of bumpers, lights, communication packages, and other loading dock accessories.  Inventory these items regularly as wheel chocks can be swept away by plows and light bulbs will need to be replaced. Perform regular checks on the seals and shelters to make sure they do not leak.  Infiltrating air will raise energy usage and may result in uncomfortable working conditions.

Protect your investment.  Choose a barrier gate that prevents loading equipment from colliding with and damaging the dock doors.  A barrier gate acts as a protective barrier against  costly door damage.

Integrated control panels are useful when combining dock and overhead doors with other loading equipment.  If you have combined a dock leveler with a trailer restraint and an automatic door, interconnecting each into a single control panel is an effective way to create a safer work environment.

Select the appropriate dock leveler capacity based on both the gross load and frequency of material handling devices in use at the site for optimal durability and safety.  Also consider push button controlled powered dock levelers for ergonomic and ease of operation reasons as they put less physical stress on the dock attendants.  If non-powered mechanical dock levelers are already present, consider upgrading the dock leveler to a push button controlled powered dock leveler with a hydraulic conversion kit.